Does Hip Hop Culture Have The Power To Challenge Social Injustice?

Posted on January 7th, 2016
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From the 90’s, to this day, we’ve witnessed how artists have focused on challenging the status quo and raising awareness on racism, sexism, and mass incarceration, among other injustices.

Take Lauryn Hill’s record, “Consumerism,” a track in which she wrote when she was incarcerated. Even The Fugees album targets the challenges she faced from decrying ageism, sexism, racism, and fascism.

Another example can be found on Kendrick Lamar’s “Mortal Man,” where he addresses, “I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Abusing my power, full of resentment. Resentment that turned into a deep depression…” The Compton native is one to always give us the motivation to overcome our personal demons, while bringing love, peace and hope into our environment. Not to mention, this is all found on his entire To Pimp A Butterfly album.

The recent powerful movement, #BlackLivesMatter, along with the Justice or Else! Million Man March, brought together thousands of people to fight injustice and march the streets of Washington D.C. Attendees included Trayvon Martin’s mother, Michael Brown’s father, Sandra Bland’s sister, and major hip hop influencers like Russell Simmons, Jay Electronica, and J. Cole.

With that being said, many hip hop artists provide a voice for those who are misunderstood and prisoners to their environments. They tend to have a positive outlook on life, and bring a lot of hope to this industry that has many saturated components.

Next time when you hear someone say “hip hop is not music,” remember that hip hop has had the ability to unite a country, give an expression for oppressed people, save lives, and can be used as a culture of challenging oppression while raising consciousness. –Lupe “Looove” LLerenas


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